So good to me…”
My little kids would love that! Every Monday morning, we sing this old (I believe) Momma’s and Poppa’s song. We only sing the first verse because, well, I don’t really know the rest of the song!
So I didn’t get around to mopping the floors yesterday. This masonry work is more time consuming than I thought. Also, given the fact that it is a tight space to work in, and that I only had a bag and a half of cement, didn’t help.
All the time I’m ‘hidden’ behind the curtain building, all I can hear is my ‘… stupid, little woman …’ neighbour’s dog yapping. The thing never shuts up. Then I hear her talking to someone. A door slam. Half hour later, after a half hour of yapping, more talking. Another slamming door. This went on the whole time I was building up this wall.
Now, keep in mind dear readers, it isn’t finished. After class today, it’s a trip to B&Q to get three or four more bags of cement. I figure that should be enough to finish. I just hope I don’t run out of bricks! I was thinking about putting one of the glass door panels in as a filler, so I wouldn’t have to use as many bricks. Then I thought, why bother? That would just give her more to complain about. The whole of idea of this ‘divider’ is so that she doesn’t have to see my balcony and all the mess!
I really don’t know what the big deal is anyway! Sure, there are a few leaves that have blown down from the plants upstairs, and dust of course, because this country has lots. Build it up with bricks, no daylight will enter her home, and then she’ll be fine.
I also made sure as much as possible, that the thing is level. I don’t want to have a ‘Leaning Tower of Tainan’ here. I checked it this morning. WOW, it’s strong! Just like the barbeque, this thing will not fall down. I don’t think the contractor that built the present ‘divider’ could have done a better job. I kicked it, I pulled it, I tried to wriggle it… nada! Not even so much as a whisper of movement! Good job!!
For anyone whose never built anything with bricks and cement, you gotta try sometime. It’s like getting back into your childhood.
The bags come in 10kg or something. Not that big, but a bit heavy. The bricks I am using are heavy as well. They are not your average, everyday red bricks. These things are made of cement! I can only carry three or four at a time. About all my back will handle. Especially since they are all on the roof, and I have to carry them down a staircase!!
The cement is in powder form, of course. You add water, mix, and voila – MUD! Like I said, it’s like going back to childhood. I started off trying to be as neat as possible. Use a stick to stir up the cement. Add water a bit at a time, kind of like baking. Add too much, it turns to soup. Not enough water, and it’s like little stones. “Less is more”, right?
After the first batch of mix, I decided to use my hands. It was actually easier to stir up the cement mix with my hands than using a stick (or in my case, a piece of bamboo). You can feel the mixture. You can see and feel when it is ‘just right’. Then, grabbing little handfuls at a time, laying it on top of the previous bricks, placing the next brick… sort of monotonous, but relaxing at the same time.
Sure the job is not perfect. But then again, neither am I! I didn’t go to school to learn how to build brick walls. I didn’t apprentice at a construction company. I learned by observation – watching my dad build a barbeque those so many years ago.
So now I’m on a roll. Here it is 7:30am, and all I’m thinking about is the “Great Wall of Jinhua Road”! I can’t wait for classes to be over this morning, so I can get working on it. Now that the first 1/3 or so is complete, the rest will be easy. Maybe by the time the wall is finished, I won’t hear the dog anymore – who knows.
Now, what to do next. Well, between our homes on the ground floor, there is a wall. However, it is not divided because the two owners are brother and sister. They never needed to completely block each other off. But I do think that this ‘… stupid, little woman …’ will want this divided. So, I may just end up building a brick wall there too. Not a priority, but something to think about.
More to come…